Terrapin TomFoolery | Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin TomFooleryTerrapin TomFoolery

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is Terrapin's 14th side project.

Added by Anthony1 on 02-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 140
Photo of cosmicevan
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Had this one for a while (obviously) and tonight seemed right. Enjoyed from an oversized terrapin snifter.
a - brew pours a dark brown that settles in the glass as black with chestnut highlights to the light. A generous frothy foamy grey head hung out for a while with a creamy almost Belgian look.

s - nose is soft fruit leading with Apple and pear.

t - taste starts with the same apple and pear and then is tsunamied with a bready toasted oxidized tartness. Yeasty

m - feel is over carbed and fizzy

o - overall this probably should've been drank long ago. Not really that great now.

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Photo of jlindros
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to JonnyGalt (Reddit) to let me try another unique Terrapin goody.

Pours a darker mocha colored 1 finger fizzy head that fades fairly quickly, with a bit of sticky lacing, over super dark colored beer with just hints of molasses brown light sneaking through the corners.

Nose is a bit of a mess, some earthy root like aromas, syrupy aromas that give a slight Dr. Pib like soda aroma, light green apple and fruity aromas, hint of wheat like malt, light dark caramel and molasses malt aromas, hint of saison spices maybe, more like fruit juice.

Taste starts with more estery fruit flavors, light apple and pear, hint of yeast flavors and just a touch of saison spices. Malts are creamy but not dark or very tasty, light syrupy with a bit of molasses and wheat, and just a hint of mocha. Again a bit earthy rootbeer like flavor. Booze comes on stronger than expected for 7.3% and seems more like 9-10%. Finish is drier but sticky, light lingering bitterness and more of the earthy root taste, little sticky and syrupy, just a touch of malts lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, boozy, decent carb.

Overall bah, not what I expected. Nothing like a black saison, not many dark malts and barely any saison characters, lots of esters and green apple, not very good.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has a lot of dark fruit and Belgian yeast notes, as well as some pepper and some light cocoa. The flavor is similar. The dark fruit and cherries come through up front, with some yeast, lemons, orange and caramel malt also being present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick off white head on a jet black body. Some lacing.

S: saison fruitiness but more on the plum and raisin side. Some Belgian yeast aromas as well.

T: very interesting brew. Starts off with the sharp fruitiness and corriander of a saison and rapidly tapers to a dark fruit, light toasted malt, licorice and chocolate finish which verges on a Belgian dark strong style. Very dynamic and complex.

M: lighter bodied than expected and lighter side f moderate carbonation.

Overall: only my second 'black' saison but this one is certainly a dynamic and interesting beer. A must try for sure.

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Photo of onewetpaw
2.49/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Roast notes and minimal malt.

A- Black and nicely clear. The head is full and light biege.

F- Roasty, roasty and roasty. Not really any fruit or spicy yeast notes commonly associated with saison yeasts. Harsh and astrigent. If I made this I would think about oversparging or a too alkaline mash allowing too many tannins into the brew.

M- High carbonation, which fits well with a saison. The body is rather full and there's still too much sweetness and body to really fit well.

O- Not a fan. The harshness of the roast malts clash with the yeast character and make this hard to drink. Tastes like a harsh and astringent attempt to make a stout. Saison is a very broad category, and it's hard to fault a beer for being "out of style." This beer does seem to fit that moniker though. It's too sweet and the yeast character is mild and subdued. If you told me this was fermented with an English yeast at a warmish temp and you were trying to make a stout I wouldn't be surprised.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter

Pours pitch black and foams up instantly. Glass is 2/3 foam before I have to stop pouring. Foam lingers at the top of the glass like it is an ice cream float. Aroma is very spicy, phenols, and a little boozy. Yeast dominates the nose.

First sip is quite boozy, bit of a metallic twang, finishing very very dry. There is actually not a whole lot going on here. Almost no residual sweetness, fizzy, foamy mouthfeel, but you do pick up a little hint of the roasted malt.

This has to be overcarbed, right? It just has so much foam and carbonation, that I feel it detracts from the mouthfeel. Overall, I'm pretty disappointed - I'm not getting much flavor wise other than a dry, boozy beer.

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Photo of JerseyKirk
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Huge pillowy khaki to mocha head. Tight small to medium bubbles. Carbonation evident and up the sides of the glass. Lacing all around. Opaque black color with slight red around edges of glass where light travels through.

S: Big cream, saison/belgian yeast phenols. Slight clove. Little bit of dark malts, particularly roasted barley. Would like a touch more of the roastiness to come through though.

T: Super drinkable. I get more of a belgian yeast, very slight banana up front followed by a subtle roast, caramel sweetness and dry finish. Not as much coffe/roastiness as I would expect from the color. De-bittered?

M: Dry finish. Some subtle sweetness in the middle.

O: I love the experiment. Very fun to try darker (srm) versions of pale colored beers. I think American Dark Ales are a great addition. Dark Saison...I'm still not sure about. Not enough of them to really clearly define the style. Good. Not stellar. Would like a touch more roast coming through.

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Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

LOOK: Big foamer, dark chestnut

SMELL: Dried plums, vegtal, rye spice, yeast, toffee, estery, faint citrus

TASTE: Plumy, spicy, broth, faint charcoal, moderate hop bitterness, yeast, vegtal, dried grass, spicy rye, semi-dry finish

Sort of a mish-mush of flavors that don't seem to meld well together. Not really dry and crisp enough for the Saison tag and the dark character is sort of the odd flavor out. Decent but sort of a weird brew.

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Photo of Bung
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Dark black pour, large and lasting off white head. Just barely stuck to the glass.

Aroma, yeast and pumpernickel bread. Some earth, very faint fruitcake, pepper.

Taste, toasted malt, yeasty clove and light red fruit, bannana up front. Roast, anise, pepper stings the finish. Faintest hops.

Lively carbonation keeps this going down easy. I just wish there was a little less clove.

Quite interesting but not quite as nice as the Stillwater dark Saisons I've tried. Nicer price than those however.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of lackenhauser pours a black color that does not let any highlighting show on the sides. Head is rich and thick, lots of tan lace.

Medium fruits like strawberries and raspberries with the requisite bready yeast and some sweet honey. Not much in the way of dark malts, which is surprising given the color.

Wow, prickly carbonation is strong and the roasted malts finally come out to play on the flavor. Not as much yeast flavor as I expected after the nose, but this is somewhere in between a Belgian stout and a BSPA, I think saison is a bit of a stretch, although the mouthfeel and carbonation are there. I do really like how a bit of licorice stings the palate right before the finish. Interesting little beer here, A blind taste test would be totally useless, as many style boundaries are crossed here. Fun beer to drink, though I dont really think I would want to seek out another.

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours an absolutely opaque black color with a 1/2 inch head that soon diminishes to a 1/8 inch ring around the snifter's edge and has a large spot of surface foam in the center. Sticky slivers and spots of lacing as the level drops.

S- Wow. I didn't know what to expect from a "black saison" but it sure smells like a saison, with a glassy malt aroma in the back being the only difference. Also a bit of caramel.

T- Tomfoolery indeed. Tart, semi-funky taste in the front that's offset by a metallic bitter from the malts, once again, in the back. I don't know how to feel about this yet. I must say, the alcohol is concealed extremely well, so that's a plus. Not spicy as the label says, but the fact that rye and wheat malts were used in this makes the flavor very agreeable for me.

M- Snappy and full due to the medium carbonation.

O- What a hybrid of flavors! Very unexpected and unique but also very tasty.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black coloured body with only a little head.Above average mouthfeel and satisfying. A good malting,light roasting, a blackbier with some spices,rye,some bananna, pepper, anise. Unoffensive and unexception, still a pleasant drinking beer. Thanks Doug.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: basically looks pitch black. good looking head and good retention. lacing not so much, but otherwise a good looking brew.

S: a very maple syrup smell starts off the bat. banana too. chocolate and darker aromas work their way in with the fruit.

T: flavor is very unique. lots of fruit. figs mixes with grapes. a roasted finish that is also very dry. crisp.

M: moderate, yet delicate fizz on a medium bdoy.

D: certainly a refeshing take on the saison style. an easy drinking brew that is super crisp but also flavorfull.

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Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a half finger-high off white head that died down, leaving a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of wheat in the nose along with notes of chocolate and hints of smoke and spices.
T: The taste has flavors of dark malts along with notes of wheat and chocolate and hints of spiciness from the rye.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This black saison is an interesting take on the style and the spiciness of the rye adds a little complexity.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this into a tulip glass, and whoa! the foam easily goes over the lip. I get a full hand of foam from a conservative pour. Even on re-pours I get a bunch of foam.

I smell the sour of the saison from the top. It basically smells like a stock saison, but I don't get any of the "black" smell.

It tastes like a more sour saison with a decent amount of bitterness. I really don't taste what makes this a black beer. The bottle mentions a lot of malts, but I don't really taste any maltiness.

I was expecting something really different, but all I had was a slightly "off" saison.

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Photo of mentor
2.59/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bottle left over after GABF judging and given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Pours a finger of brown head over a dark liquid with brown ruby edgings. Smells very mild. Wheat, chocolate, muted clove, wet paper, and mild spicy zip.

Tastes wet with clove, smoke, chocolate, and allspice. Mild anise mixes with an acidic edge. Strong carbonation helps pull some of the sweet from the tongue, but the beer is chewy nonetheless. Basically, a dark wheat...how is this beer a saison?

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Photo of corby112
2.63/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chocolate brown color that appears pitch black in the glass with a 1.5 finger light beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly smokey malt aroma with a strong anise/licorice presence along with dark roasted malts, peppery spice and earthy funk. Just a really odd combination for the style, resulting in a nose that fails for the style but is still somewhat interesting.

Medium bodied with a strong spice character up front that lingers over the sweet malty backbone and saison yeast into a slightly dry finish. Lots of peppery spices along with some anise/licorice flavor dominate the flavor but are countered mid-palate by a silky chocolate malt backbone. The malt profile is also very strong and along with the spices take away almost any trace of this beer tasting like a saison. This sounded like an interesting experiment in theory but in execution it falls flat.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 2 fingers of tan head top off a black ale. The head stays around for quite a while but leaves very little lacing.

S: Big aroma coming off this beer from the moment it's poured. Darkly roasted malts are up front but underneath that there is a spicy, yeasty, metallic, and almost medicinal smell that is pretty off-putting. It's just a lot of competing smells.

T: Taste is much better than the smell would indicate. The flavor upfront is spicy and yeasty, and the bitterness of chocolate malts follows. There is a slight hint of the metallic taste at the finish.

M: Heavy bodied but an awful lot of carbonation that makes it seem lighter than it is.

O: Not a great beer, and not the best black saison I've had. It's interesting, and decent, but not really worth seeking out.

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Photo of Suds
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a dark, black beer with a moderately sized beer. It's aroma is interesting...smokey, a touch of roasted malt, a wheat-chaff twang, and some funky yeast. No notable hop aroma. The taste is moderately sweet with a bit of sour-ish flavor. Just enough for balance. Not much bitterness. Musty and earthy. Smoke character comes out more throughout the experience. Moderately light body. All in all, this is an interesting concept, but a mediocre beer.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.52/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees and noticed the disturbing fact the beer had no head to speak of. What it did have was gone real fast. The beer was black as night and the tiny head was chocolate colored. The had a burnt smell and the taste was slightly sour. I will not buy again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color ale with a medium size dirty white foamy head with OK retention and some light lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with some rustic notes and light peppery yeast. Taste is not as complex as anticipated with a weird mix between some dry roasted malt and some light rustic notes and light funky yeast notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Lacking subtlety that makes Saison such a nice style – roasted malt idea is interesting but really not necessary.

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Photo of Gavage
2.82/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a short wispy head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: roasted tones and some citrus are light on the nose.

Taste: light roasted malt tone with burnt chocolate, tart grapefruit, lemon, a decent bitterness, and a definite earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout. Aftertaste is long lasting. medium bodied.

Overall: definite disappointment with this beer as the flavors were way too earthy and burnt for my liking.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.54/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip on 8/21/11

Thanks to PDXHops

Pours a muddy brown color. Very dark in the glass with faint traces of ruby and grape juice highlights. Big old three finger head rises in a fluffy fashion (similar to nitro) but becomes porous and drops to just shy of one finger. Thin retention; not much lace.

There are some interesting things going on in the aroma. The bottle mentions rye and wheat; a silly amount of each, to be exact. I'll certainly agree about the rye, in all of its abundant dry and spicy glory. Wheat seems less apparent, aside from a toasted graininess as the beer opens up. The spiciness doesn't end with the rye; herbal notions abound. Grass, prairie, pollen and floral notes, too. Maybe a dash of clove. For a few minutes after the head thinned an unpleasant alcohol note was detectable but it has since vanished. I don't know what the black malts were meant to accomplish but there isn't much in the way of roastiness to be had. Smells pretty good, regardless.

Huh. This is a strange-flavored critter. The aforementioned black malts are appreciable right from the start and make an uncomfortable roasted cocoa base from which to launch sharper notes typically associated with saisons: grass, clove, spices and some grains. Along those lines, wheat is all but buried though the rye does hold its own. Fruity notions seem unsettled as well. On the whole, most of the flavor components have an artificial bent. Some yeast in the back.

Medium-thin body with effervescent carbonation upfront that tapers off toward the back. On the whole it makes for a bit of a weak attack. Finishes quickly, though there is a dirt-like ghost note that lingers briefly.

Overall, I can't say that Tomfoolery is a bad beer, as it were, but it's a ridiculous "take" on the style (I think calling it a misuse of the style is far more appropriate a term). Despite some unpleasant aspects, it's drinkable enough that I'll finish the bottle; well, at least most of it.

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Photo of thain709
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This was about the only nice part of the beer...the body was black with some ruby highlights showing...a tan head formed but was not all that tall...it was light brown in color and settled into a wispy cap...some lacing was left behind

S - Earthy aromas coming out as a part of the Saison...some roasted notes as well...nothing spectacular and everything you would expect from a dark Saison

T - The earthy flavors take over the roasted aspect of the beer...there is a funk presence that's dry yet zesty...citrus tries to come through but this is where the roasted notes stand up...some light chocolate flavors come through...nothing really connects these flavors together

M - Medium bodied...the roast adds some body while the funk keeps it from being full...slight carbonation...a funky-roast finish

O - I'm not sure about the idea of a dark Saison but leave it to Terrapin to experiment with a Side Project...the look was the only good thing about this...there's something missing that connects the two parts of the beer

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Photo of KirkMcDerrick
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a growler's worth at my local Beer emporium.Strong chocolate smell with a little bitterness when opened.

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with a chocolate -milk style head on it that settles nicely in the glass.The taste is overall strong and full with a bitter chocolate taste that leaves plenty of aftertaste but goes down very smooth.There is a slight alcohol taste but it mixes well with the sweet flavors in the beer and doesn't take away from the experience.Malty,earthy and sweet it's subtle variety of flavors come out after it has warmed up to room temp a bit.

Terrapin brews are hit or miss for me personally but I enjoyed this one.Also one of the first ventures I took in the Siason style of beer and seems to be a pretty good take on it if not a bit darker and sweeter than what I was expecting.

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Terrapin TomFoolery from Terrapin Beer Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 140 ratings.
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